Yesterday morning, in a small office on the second floor of the Cuyahoga County Courthouse in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, Kat and Carolyn and Rebecca and I finalized our adoption of Joshua. There were a few witnesses to this: the social worker who has handled our case from the outset, as she did Carolyn’s; the lawyer who made sure all of our paperwork was correct; my sister and father and stepmother; our friends Gini and Ferrett and Jim; and the magistrate who conducted the proceedings.
As with Carolyn and Rebecca, I haven’t talked about Joshua being adopted — not that it was any big secret, given our having adopted our other children. Nevertheless, I did this for the same old reasons: for the past seven months, we’ve been borrowing him from his legal guardians, the adoption agency. The usual monthly checkups from our social worker still occurred, and there was still the theoretical possibility of Joshua’s placement being revoked for any reason whatsoever. Or even for no reason at all. I had no way to know if a blog post might somehow make things more difficult, so I left it alone.
All this was always a basically theoretical possibility — there was no real fear of it actually happening — but now, even the theory is undone. Joshua is now legally our son and the girls’ brother just as completely as he has long been both in our hearts. He is now ours — but even more than that, and far more importantly, we are now his.
Over a celebratory lunch, Kat held our sleeping son in her arms and I cradled his head with my hand as we whispered our love for him, for our girls, and for each other.